The E. T. Theory of History goes like this: When you encounter a mysterious piece of the world, blame the aliens. It’s so much easier than trying to find the truth.
When you experience a masterpiece painting, you are only seeing the surface. The superficial. The epidermis. But below the crust is a world of hidden lines, erasure marks, screw-ups, do-overs, and poor color choices.
When the artist first put their brush to canvas, the painting did not immediately emerge. It took time to find the message in the medium.
If you could peek below the paint with x-ray vision, you would see the road map the painting took. Sketches, squiggly lines, and plenty of stray marks.
When an artist’s guidelines no longer serve, they erase them.
It’s part of the formula of creating a masterpiece.
But eventually, the painting is revealed. Unfortunately, we only get to see the outer layer of color. But the hidden pieces are what make it a painting.
This is something that artists know. Historians and futurists often forget it.
When one part of the formula no longer serves you, cut it loose, erase it, paint over it.
But people concerned with the chronology of world events aren’t so cavalier.
They fall in love with their theories and hug them and squeeze them forever, never to let them go.
When an historian encounters a gigantic mound, or a temple, or pyramid, that seems almost impossible to comprehend, they bring out their nicely wrapped little deus ex machina.
They blame aliens. They believe it had to be creatures from another planet. It’s the only thing that makes sense. How else could such magnificent structures be built?
The truth behind universal mysteries is always more magical, or painful, or ugly, or far more stupendous, more stunning or wondrous than we can imagine.
Shoot down the Martian rocket ships and pick up a shovel. The real answers are not in the stars. The hard revelations are always below the surface.
Sure it’s a little more painful to go digging.
But when you’re done, you will be even more amazed at the grandiosity of the universe. Far more amazed than when you were still blaming the extra terrestrials.